First European exposure to syphilis: the Dominican Republic at the time of Columbian contact.

Title

First European exposure to syphilis: the Dominican Republic at the time of Columbian contact.

Creator

Rothschild B M; Calderon F L; Coppa A; Rothschild C

Publisher

Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America

Date

2000
2000-10

Description

Recognition of syphilis in Europe in the late 15th century and its prior absence suggest New World origin. Skeletal populations were examined from sites with documented Columbian contact in the Dominican Republic. Examination of 536 skeletal remains revealed periosteal reaction characteristic of treponemal disease in 6%-14% of the afflicted population. Findings were identical to that previously noted in confirmed syphilis-affected populations and distinctive from those associated with yaws and bejel: it was a low population frequency phenomenon, affecting an average of 1.7-2.6 bone groups, often asymmetric and sparing hands and feet, but associated with significant tibial remodeling. While findings diagnostic of syphilis have been reported in the New World, actual demonstration of syphilis in areas where Columbus actually had contact was missing, until now. The evidence is consistent with this site as the point of initial contact of syphilis and of its subsequent spread from the New World to the Old.

Subject

15th Century; 16th Century; Ancient; Bone and Bones/pathology; Congenital/diagnosis/history; Diagnosis; Differential; Dominican Republic; Europe; Fossils; History; Humans; Syphilis; Syphilis/diagnosis/*history/transmission; Tooth/pathology

Identifier

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

936–941

Issue

4

Volume

31

Citation

Rothschild B M; Calderon F L; Coppa A; Rothschild C, “First European exposure to syphilis: the Dominican Republic at the time of Columbian contact.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed May 9, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/4137.

Social Bookmarking